Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Art Before Breakfast or sketching at dawn

I had recently purchased the book Art before breakfast, bye Danny Gregory, and I decided to bring the book and a pencil sketch kit with me to Ireland.  I found the exercises in the book a great way to kick start my days.  

I had not done any contour or negative space sketches in a very long time.  Doing these exercises again helped me improve my sketching.  I reminded me to spend more time looking at my subjects and less time looking at my sketch pad.  It also used some of the exercises to practice sketching while using binoculars, which proved to be very useful during this trip.

The morning exercises warmed me up and got me ready to head out into the county side and sketch.  Below are just the first four days of exercises to give you an idea of what I did:

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mullranny, Ireland

For the majority of our Ireland trip we stayed at the Essence of Mulrany, an Artist retreat in Mayo County Ireland.  To reach our destination we took the west bound train from Dublin to Westport.  The train ride was very comfortable and quite enjoyable.  I had time to converse with friends, read and even do a few sketches using my Derwent Graphite/Charcoal Sketching Wallet while in route.  The wallet includes water-soluble pencils, graphite and tinted charcoal pencils.  You can see my test squares on the right of the first image.


The Essence of Mulrany, is up on the hill side.  The large studio area is setup for a variety of artistic pursuits.  The majority of our group, including my husband, are glass artists and they enjoyed utilizing the studio's glass working facilities.

The location provided us with tranquil views of Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick in the distance.  Offering an ever changing panoramic dance of clouds and shadows moving across the water and land.  The beauty of the country side called to me.  

I rotated between painting view from the large picture window in the lounge, painting from photos taken during our group outings, and plein air sketching while wandering the neighborhood.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sketches of Dublin, Ireland

This past fall we took a trip to Ireland with several friends.  We spent a few days touring in Dublin, the city we flew into and out of.  It was a very brief stay filled with trips to museums, a walk in the nearby park, a bit of shopping and of course enjoying the local pubs with friends.

The city is filled with brightly colored buildings of various architectural types, which immediately caught my eye.  The days were overcast and rained on and off, but that didn't keep us indoors.

Below are two small sketches I did using my Van Gogh watercolor Pocket Box and my extra small Strathmore spiral bound journal.